So, the Guys have moved, once again. We are now located in the commercial center across from
La Corona and Banco de Costa Rica. We’re right next to Sonia’s Uvita Information Center. If you are checking out at La Corona, and you look to your right across the street, you’ll see this image –>
So, why’d we move? Well I’ll tell you, and in the process you’ll not only get an idea of what rents are going for in Uvita Costa Rica, you’ll gain some insight into the basic differences between men & women, so read on!
We moved from the second floor spot we had because we found that prospective clients simply didn’t want to go upstairs.
The capper was when I noticed that my gal Natalie would come to the parking area and call me on my cell phone. I asked her why she did this. Why didn’t she just come on in and talk vis a vis? She said because she had a sun dress on and so she didn’t want to go up the stairs. There is a bank of phones just under the stairs and so she felt a little uncomfortable about going up the stairs with what seemed to be a rather high percentage of male phone users there. When I mentioned this to other people of the female persuasion I found this to be a common sentiment. This was an enlightening moment for this man who has never shared this particular concern about stairs: a fundamental difference between men and women. I’ve never read that book Men are from one planet and Women are from another (Mars & Venus?), but I’ll bet this point about stairs is in there.
There is also the little matter about the rent. The landlords over there at the BM Market (affectionately called the Poop Market) were quite accommodating when the global economy went into the toilet (hmmm, seems there is a trend here). They were agreeable to a comfortable pay reduction and helped us greatly to endure a time that effectively shut down a number of other real estate agencies due to outgo exceeding income.
There seems to be a general feeling around these parts that an economic recovery is happening, and that things are looking up. I’m not sure what this is based on, but it might be due to a number of land & house sales as of late. Be this as it may, the economy is still in a bad way. Tourism is down, at least according to the economic barometer I use, which is a friend who owns one of the nicer hotels in the area. He keeps meticulous records of occupancy and is down this season so far by about 120 rooms, which is hotel-speak for rooms booked per night. I think that the economic optimism could simply be based on the fact that we’re all just tired of the recession, so it must be getting better.
The problem is, the numbers don’t lie. People are not as mobile now as they used to be when money was more available. Mobile people (commonly known as tourists) are what makes things tick around Costa Rica’s southern pacific zone. So, when our theretofore gracious landlords decided it was time to raise the rent based on the economic recovery, we decided to move.
The BM Landlords did a market analysis and found that a general pricing of $10 per meter was the going rate for commercial rent, and so raised the rent to just a little over that. We are fine paying the going rate for rent, but not when our prospective female clients, (and as it turns out, some of our not so energetic male clients,) simply don’t choose to go up the stairs, but instead spend their energy looking for a real estate agency on the ground floor.
So we’ve moved to this very central spot in Uvita Costa Rica and are expecting big things from all the walk in business that is sure to come our way.
The Costa Rica real estate business has been dependent on the Internet. When folks first start talking back home about having a visit to Costa Rica, the first thing they do is get on the Internet and start searching. So, the old adage of location, location, location didn’t apply so much to the real estate business here in Costa Rica. Most of our business was by appointment and these were set up well in advance via e-mail and International phone calls or Skype.
Things are changing in this respect here in The Zone. There is an actual local economy here now. I know of several recent sales of property that have been to local expats that are simply selling one home, and moving to another, just like any other established real estate market place.
There is also the interesting behavior change as of late of not booking lodgings, tours, and real estate viewings in advance. The comment has been made numerous times that people are just “showing up”, or booking online from within the country once they get here. Interesting.
And on it goes. We’ll see not only how the new element of walk in business affects things, but how an increase of female walk in traffic affects things in the new Guys In The Zone office.